Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | 6 days ago

Your Womb Doesn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t Double In Size Ahead Of Your Period, But It Does Grow

Why This Period Picture Is Fake But Important

The Debrief: You'd notice if any other part of your body grew 10-15% bigger, wouldn't you?

You know how the build up to a period can be, right? Bloating, sore legs, sore back, bad stomach, and so on? Well, a picture that’s been doing the rounds for quite a while is as relevant now as it ever was, because it seems to show just how huge the uterus can get when your period comes.

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Apples and Ovaries, an account run by a holistic nutritional therapist, shared an image of a woman’s hand holding two wooden models of a uterus (or womb). One is red and one is white and one is far bigger than the other.

Though the page only has about 11,000 likes, the post has 6,000 comments, 19,000 reactions and has been shared 25,000 times.

While many of us will know that feeling of huge bloat and feel comfortable putting it down to our wombs growing so massively, scientists have previously debunked the post’s assertions, saying that the pre-menstrual womb isn’t double the size of a non-pre-menstrual womb (we’d hate to say ‘normal’ as if there’s nothing normal about menstruation), more like 10-15% bigger. Still, our bodies are stuffed with all sorts of organs and bits and bobs - imagine if your eyes were 10-15% bigger, or your teeth, or your bones, or your stomach? You’d definitely notice.

In case your sex education wasn’t good enough - and let’s be honest, whose was ever good enough? - here’s a rundown of what happens when you get your period.

Levels of oestrogen rise, making your womb lining thicken to prepare for the arrival of an egg, which leaves your ovaries because of…oestrogen! Pretty smart hormone.

Then, progesterone rises, helping attach an embryo - that’s an egg fertilised by sperm - to the womb. It's the progesterone credited with making us retain water and feel bloated.

If there’s no fertilised egg, though, the egg is reabsorbed into the body and oestrogen and progesterone levels fall (right before your period, you actually have fewer female hormones in your body than at any other time in your cycle) and the womb lining detaches from the womb and exits via, yep, your vagina! To loosen it, the body produces prostaglandins, which make your womb contract over and over again. This starves, for even just a tiny second, the womb of oxygen, causing it to hurt.

This is the wonder of menstruation, and it’s testament to how little we all know about what goes on every month down below that so many people have fallen - including us for a little bit before we did our research - for the above post.

You might also be interested in:

Meet The Vloggers Leading A Menstrual Revolution

Every Question You've Had About Your Periods, Answered

We Need To Change The Way Society Views Periods

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: Periods